Published: Sept. 21, 2022

The University of Colorado Boulder is proud to announce the launch of a worldwide education coalition in support of the Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Summit, with the goal to broaden understanding of the human rights impacts of a changing global climate and galvanize people to take action.

The Dec. 1–4 summit is co-hosted by United Nations Human Rights and CU Boulder, and will take place virtually and in person on the university’s Boulder campus.

Learners and educators of all ages, from primary school classrooms to university research labs, are invited to engage in this landmark event through the new Right Here, Right Now Education Coalition. Participating institutions and individuals will receive free access to a coalition toolkit—including information on how to host watch parties and how to spread the word about the connection between human rights and climate change, and why that connection matters to everyone.

“Climate change is already having impacts that stretch far beyond the foothills of Boulder, Colorado,” said Heidi VanGenderen, CU Boulder’s first chief sustainability officer and co-chair of the summit’s steering committee. “We want to give students of all ages a chance to learn and share their experiences through this event in classrooms and communities across the globe—which will, at the same time, help us to lower our own carbon footprint for the summit.”

Right Here, Right Now Education Coalition partners include the Association of American Universities (AAU)American Council on Education (ACE), Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Association of Public & Land Grant UniversitiesGlobal Council for Science and the EnvironmentSecond Nature, the International Sustainable Campus Network and the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3). Through this coalition, the summit is already connecting with thousands of educational institutions and related entities around the world.

To reach even more learners, departments, classes, clubs and people affiliated with educational institutions are encouraged to join the summit by watching events from their computers and phones—either live or through recordings. Many will organize “watch parties” on their campuses and in their communities to encourage conversations about the content of the summit and, just as important, the human rights-based climate solutions that emanate from its discussions.

Summit organizers are also developing climate education and summit-specific resources for educators and will share them with coalition members as they become available.

“The summit organizers want to thank our amazing partners,” VanGenderen said. “To solve the world’s climate crisis, young people from all nations need the chance to learn about how climate change is affecting their own communities. These organizations are helping to share those opportunities with the next generation of global leaders.”

The summit will bring together thought leaders, youth activists, and scientific, political, educational, cultural and industry experts from around the world for keynote addresses and panels exploring how climate change impacts fundamental rights, including the right to food, safe water, housing and health. The event will include three keynote speakers and more than 30 other panelists and speakers from Colombia, Cameroon, Trinidad and beyond.